The road so far
Lisa and Ben aren’t dead. I know, I am as surprised as you are. Sam had been back for about the entire time that Dean was getting his shit together and learning how to live a normal life, but he hadn’t told Dean because he wanted him to live a normal life. Well, about as normal as you can be when you’ve been raised to be a hunter and you’ve seen your father and your brother die horrible deaths.
Bobby also knew that Sam was back, and he never told Dean either, which is something that didn’t sit right with him. Mainly for the same reason that Sam never told Dean: “You got out, Dean. You came the closest to living a normal life I’ve ever seen a hunter get.” So, it was from a place of love, but Dean was still feeling betrayed. And I can’t blame him.
And we have family, cousins from their mother’s side. They are new. I didn’t even know they still had family there, and given that the Campbells are all hunters, it’s a minor miracle they’ve managed to live this long. We even have the boys’ grandfather, who died in S4, come back from the dead. Pulled down (from Heaven) by parties unknown and for reasons we also don’t know. Although they are indications he’s working for someone. That would explain why he’s not killed the female Djinn, and why they were trying to catch the Alpha Shapeshifter. Someone seems to be collecting monsters. At least, that’s my take on it.
And Sam is different as well. He seems more callous, almost. He doesn’t care as much about the people he’s trying to help. When Castiel was trying to find out who had claimed Aaron Birch’s soul in 6×03 The Third Man, mentioning that it would be painful for the kid, Dean was protesting this, but Sam wasn’t. It seems out of character for him, and I wonder, along with Dean, what his time in the Cage in Hell has done with him. Sam might claim that it was fine, and that he got over it faster than Dean did over his own time, but I don’t buy it. He’s bullshitting.
And it would be nice if we knew who had pulled him out of Hell. It’s not God. According to Castiel he’s still missing. How God can go missing, I can’t fathom. His absence, and the Apocalypse-that-wasn’t, has left a vacuum in Heaven, and there’s a civil war about to break out to see who will rule it. Honestly, given that most angels don’t seem to care for humans all that much, whoever wins, we still lose.